Compress Design Cycles without Sacrificing Quality with SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD

Since the 1970s PS Audio has engineered and built home audio systems of undisputed quality, serving an audiophile (i.e., a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction) community that loves music and high-end audio systems.

The Colorado-based home audio systems manufacturer focuses solely on making music and the products that support its reproduction and continues to grow and prosper at a time when many home audio system manufacturers have scaled back.

To compress design cycles to support product line expansion, PS Audio needed to replace its old 2D AutoCAD system. The company strives to develop its products efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, which is why they eventually chose SOLIDWORKS® 3D CAD software.

Cutting Design Cycles

Using SOLIDWORKS software PS Audio has compressed its design cycles without sacrificing quality. According to co-founder and CEO Paul McGowan, SOLIDWORKS has been an essential tool that has reduced design cycles to days rather than months.

The audio systems manufacturer produces preamplifiers, power conditioners and regenerators, amplifiers, digital-to-analog converters, high-end cables, turntables, players, speakers, and a host of accessories. And, because of the efficiencies achieved using SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD, the company continues to expand its product lines.

Optimizing Design Efficiency

Designer Chet Roe began working at PS Audio as an intern and tapped into SOLIDWORKS Simulation capabilities to run thermal analysis on the heat sink fin of an amplified speaker. “I took a look at the heat sink design on large amplified speakers that carry a lot of wattage and amperage,” Roe says.

“The heat sink fin design matches the shape of the speakers. The former design utilized a single backplate mount, and the simulation showed that there wasn’t enough space back there to efficiently dissipate heat.”

Roe continues: “I then looked at the two-sided fit of the heat sink on one of our power regenerators and discovered that it was more efficient at dissipating heat. I then used SOLIDWORKS to modify the design to optimize the efficiency of the heat sink.”

Electro-Mechanical Designs

The partnership between DS SOLIDWORKS and Altium sets the stage for more fully integrating the company’s mechanical and electronic design environments.

“We’ve been bringing semi-populated boards from Altium Designer into SOLIDWORKS to check fit and clearances,” Roe points out. “However, the board is pretty much a semi-populated dumb solid. With SOLIDWORKS and Altium working so closely together, we’re excited about the possibility of further integrating development, facilitating collaboration, and increasing innovation in high-quality home audio systems.”

Click here to read the full story to learn how using SOLIDWORKS can help compress product design cycles from months to days.


Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.